Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chocolate Meringues

My fondest memories of my grandma involve us baking together.  We always made her two specialties - orange cake and meringues - and I vividly remember the first time my 8-year-old self decided tasting vanilla powder was a good idea.  In honor of my grandma, I made these airy and chewy chocolate meringues.  I loved how they turned out - light and fragile on the outside, yet chocolatey and almost brownie-like in the middle.


  • 1 cup egg whites 
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely


  1. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over a double boiler with simmering water and whisk until the sugar granules have dissolved.  This will take a few minutes.
  2. Remove the bowl from the double boiler.  Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar on high speed until medium peaks forms and the mixture is glossy.  It should resemble melted marshmallows. Be patient. This process will take at least ten minutes.
  3. Sift the cocoa powder over the meringue.  Sprinkle with the chopped chocolate and gently fold the mixture making sure not to deflate the meringue.
  4. Drop the meringue on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in heaping spoonfuls.  Alternatively, pipe the meringue into bite-sized kisses. 
  5. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Above: I prefer to use Ghirardelli chocolate products while baking.
Below: The meringue should hold medium to stiff peaks. 

Above: Bite-sized piped kisses on the left.  Big dollops on the right. Larger meringues yield chewier and fudgier centers.
Below: Voila! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Herb and Cheese Omelette

Most weekdays, my breakfast consists of coffee and a banana.  Come the weekend, however, I get pretty creative and love to indulge in a hearty breakfast or brunch. I'm pretty fond of brunch for obvious reasons...the ability to mix sweet with savory without any judgment.  If you know me well, I never pass up on pancakes or a brioche french toast for breakfast. But in an effort to cut down on my sugar consumption, I improvised and made an omelette with some of my favorite greens. I credit my inspiration to this recipe


  • One tablespoon butter
  • Three eggs
  • Splash of heavy cream or milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • One sprig of finely chopped rosemary
  • One handful fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • One handful shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Whisk the eggs, cream or milk, salt and pepper until slightly frothy.
  2. Whisk in the greens.
  3. Melt butter in pan over medium-low heat. 
  4. Pour egg mixture into pan. Cover and let cook slowly.
  5. Once egg mixture has set, top with mozzarella. Fold half of egg mixture on the other half.
  6. Once cheese is melted, plate the omelette. Serve with sliced avocado (and hot sauce!)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Rosemary Butter Cookies

To me, the defining trait of a perfect cookie is in the chewiness.  So it may come as a surprise to know that this crunchy rosemary butter cookie is one of my favorites of all time. I'm all about a good gourmet cookie that's easy to make, and this Martha Stewart recipe fits the bill. I usually slice the dough, roll it in turbinado sugar, then bake it, but I discovered this dough is also perfect for rolling out and cutting into shapes (particularly hearts for V-day). 

Above: Always use room temperature butter when baking. If you're short on time, microwave the butter for about 15 seconds.
 Below: Chill the dough for at least one hour before rolling out on floured surface. Room temperature dough will make it difficult to handle the cut-outs.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Margherita Pizza

I've never met a person who doesn't love pizza. It's the ultimate comfort food, and the possibilities are endless. I've seen some pretty creative toppings, but when it comes to pizza, my mantra is to keep it simple. I recently attempted to recreate my favorite margherita pizza from Mother Dough, one of my favorite pizza joints in LA.  Of course, I used store-bought pizza dough, so I'll be the first to admit I was light years away from achieving the consistency of Mother Dough's crust.  But, hey, it was worth a shot.  And even though it wasn't restaurant quality, it was still a pretty flavorful, rustic pizza.

Above:  Pizza doesn't have to be round! On a floured surface, stretch the dough out to your desired shape and thickness. Drizzle with good olive. Season with salt and pepper.
Below: Spoon tomato sauce on the dough.  Avoid putting too much sauce (unless you like soggy pizza).

Below: Slice fresh mozzarella and generously dot on pizza.  Make sure to dry mozzarella with paper towel to absorb the excess moisture.  Dot the pizza with fresh basil. Lightly season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Bake in very hot oven at a minimum of 450 degrees for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling. Serve with red chili pepper flakes.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I Love You, España

Last summer, my boyfriend and I spent three weeks exploring the gorgeous landscape of Spain. We made it to Madrid, Segovia, Toledo, Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada and of course, Barcelona. We ate well, walked everywhere, and completely immersed ourselves in the rich culture.  (I documented the delicious food we ate in this post). Looking back, I can't think of one word to accurately describe our trip. So I'm leaving it up to these photos to do the talking.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Comfort Food

Chicken pot pie isn't exactly the ideal meal for the health conscious.  That's why I usually reserve heavy comfort foods for cold, rainy days.  On a particularly cold day (for LA standards), I followed this recipe from Ina Garten and was very happy with the results. I was even more happy to use my fancy soup ramekins, which are also perfect for french onion soup. I cut a few corners by using store-bought pastry and added my own personal touch by throwing in some crimini mushrooms in the mix and omitting the pearl onions.  My only suggestion is to half the recipe unless you're planning on feeding an army. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

White Chocolate Brownies

After reading David Lebovitz's "The Sweet Life in Paris," I've become slightly obsessed with French food and culture.  So when he posted this fabulous recipe, which originated in a French magazine, I knew I had to try it.  I'm kind of picky when it comes to white chocolate because sometimes it tastes artificial or overly sweet. But with highly quality Ghirardelli white chocolate, these brownies are a welcome deviation from traditional brownies - they're moist and chewy and the lemon zest gives it a perfect zing. 

Above: Nobody said this was a healthy recipe.  With over a stick of butter, this recipe is classically French.
Below: I baked the batter for exactly 30 minutes.  Depending on your oven, monitor the crust color to prevent over-baking, or worse, drying out. Nobody likes dry cake. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...